Zimbabwe

Mugabe 'thugs' killed MDC supporter - US

2012-05-31 19:58
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at a meeting in Harare. (File, AP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe at a meeting in Harare. (File, AP)

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Harare - The US on Thursday said "thugs" from Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party killed a supporter of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and hurt several others at a weekend rally.

The US embassy in Harare condemned the attack - which came a day after a visit by UN human rights chief Navi Pillay - and described it as "one of the worst eruptions of political violence this year".

"The United States condemns the Zanu-PF thugs responsible for committing these attacks and the members of the Zimbabwe police who failed to fulfil their official duty to serve and protect their fellow Zimbabweans."

The embassy said in a statement that a local party official of the Tsvangirai faction of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) was murdered during a rally in the northeastern town of Mudzi on Saturday.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been sharing power in an uneasy unity government since a deal reached in the aftermath of disputed 2008 polls. They are openly at odds however and have both admitted the partnership was not working out.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said the party member was stoned to death when a group of Zanu-PF supporters attacked his party members holding a rally at a business centre.

"We are disturbed by this incident," Chamisa told AFP.

"It gives signals of danger as it is not an isolated incident but it's almost becoming a trend. We have raised the issue in government with our colleagues from Zanu-PF. It's unacceptable that we can lose a life on the basis of politics."

Police reportedly did not take action to "stop Zanu-PF supporters from violently attacking lawfully assembled MDC supporters" or "holding a disruptive, unsanctioned parallel rally and from attacking MDC supporters, including the elderly", the US statement said.

A police official in the area told the state-controlled Herald newspaper six people were in custody in connection with the incident, which left a 58-year-old MDC supporter dead.

Pillay last week told Mugabe to take steps to prevent a recurrence of the deadly violence that engulfed the last presidential election four years ago.

- AFP

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  morgan tsvangirai  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa
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